Poklonnaya Gora & Kutuzovsky Avenue, Moscow
Poklonnaya Gora is one of the highest spots in Moscow, standing at 171 metres. Located west from the centre of the city, it is home to many interesting sites.
The main one is Park Pobedy (Victory Park), a green space unveiled in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the Great Patriotic War (known as World War II outside of Russia). At its centre is a concrete alley that leads to the memorial church of St. George (also completed in 1995) and an impressive 142-metre obelisk. Its meaning is quite obvious, as it depicts St. George, patron saint of Russia, felling a dragon bearing a Nazi symbol.
Park Pobedy is also home to two museums (which we did not visit because we were there at night, past closing time): the Museum of Jewish Legacy History and Holocaust, which is inside the Memorial Synagogue at Poklonnaya Hill; and the Museum of the Great Patriotic War (site in Russian only: http://www.museum-cmvov.ru/).
Finally, if you go to Poklonnaya Gora by metro and get off at Park Pobedy metro station, you will see a Triumphal Arch in the middle of Kutuzovsky Prospekt. Built in 1834, removed from Belarussky Vokzal in the 1930s and finally rebuilt at its current location in 1968, it commemorates Napoleon's defeat in 1812.
Poklonnaya Gora's other metro station, Kutuzovskaya, is closer to the Borodino Panorama, where you can see a giant (115-metre long and 14-metre high) circular painting of the battle of Borodino by Russian artist Franz Roubaud.
The Triumph Arch was originally erected at the modern Pl. Mayakovskogo, then torn down, and rebuilt on its current site near Poklonnaya Gora in 1960s. It commemorates victory over France in the 1812-1815 war. Close by there is a museum of the war against Napoleon.
Construction started in 1970s, and the original plan was quite different from the result.
This complex commemorates the victory of Soviet Union over Germany in WW II. The museum's dioramas and exhibits tell the story of the key battles. The monument became one of the favorite places of Muscovites.
This is a must see, especially if you have children. The one-of-a-kind theater of trained cats is run by Kuklachev who has toured extensively and is well-known both in Russia and internationally. He is known also to give many performances for free to orphans and poor children.
The theater is located on Kutuzovskiy prospect, 25, not far from the center. This is a unique and very entertaining experience.
For walking or rollerskating, it's a great place to visit...so big, so wide. Don't forget to visit the war area, you will see ''souvenirs'' of WW2. Bel endroit pour la profondeur de champs lors de prise de photo. Some picnic tables behind the ''flower clock'', you can relax there.
The Memorial Complex on Poklonnaya Mountain was put up after the Soviet Army victory over fascism in World War II. The largest museum of that great conflict is situated here. The majority of its exhibits is outdoors.
The Russians wanted to create a large memorial in honor of victory in the Great Patriotic War, (more commonly known as to WWII) and were trying to decide where to build it. The Russians had millions die fighting the Nazi’s and it is an important part of their history. Finally they decided to build in on Poklonnaja mountain where legend has it in 1812 Napoleon stood waiting for the Muscovites to bring him the keys of the city so he could claim victory over the Russians. Instead he witnessed the Russians burning the city and any materials that the French would be able to use.
The grand opening of the Victory Memorial was held in Moscow on May 9, 1995. It covers an area of 365,000 square feet, with an adjoining picture gallery. 340 acres were set aside around the memorial and trees were planted. Three years later it was completed and named Victory Park.
Approaching the museum you will walk past stone markers that represent the years of the war. On the right hand side of the path is a memorial dedicated to the suffering victims of the prison camps. A line of prisoners thin, naked, and frightened slowly get smaller and simply disappear into the shadows on the back wall. As you get even closer you will find yourself at the base of a large monument stretching high into the sky. At the base St. George and the Dragon is depicted.
The main monument of Victory is an obelisk with a bronze statue of Nika, the goddess of Victory. Behind it there is the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War. Its exhibits tell about the key battles, the heroic deeds of rank-and-file soldiers and prominent military leaders and officers, the war effort of people in the rear and the joint activities of the Allies that brought to the unconditional surrender of the Nazi Germany in May of 1945. The Memorial complex also includes an Orthodox Church, a Mosque and a Synagogue reflecting that the struggle against Fascists united the people of different beliefs.
(open 10 a.m.-6p.m. Tues-Sun).
Name of this place "Poklonnaya Gora" can be translated as Lowbow Hill. When travellers of the past went to Moscow by west road, they came to the top of this hill and saw thousands of church crosses and golden cupolas of Moscow (at the end of XIX c. there were more than 2000 churches in M.). According to the orthodox tradition they should bow down to the ground and cross themselves. That is why this place is called Lowbow Hill.
There is a legend that Napoleon stood at this hill and waited for moscovites to bring keys of Moscow. But instead of that he just saw the Great Moscow Fire of 1812. Citizens left the town and burned it before enemies will come in.
Nowadays there is a great memorial comlex of the Second World War.
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It's a big area celebring the victory in WW2. A long esplanade leads to the Museum of the Second WOrld War and in the middle is a long fountain, which at night is lit in red, to symbolise the colour of blood. Very suggestive.
VICTORY MEMORIAL was dedicated to the victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45. Built in 1983-95 to commemorate teh 50th anniversary of WWII (Great Patriotic War where the Russians are concerned).
A museum, a synagogue & a mosque can be found here.
Poklonnaja mountain is the most significant monument constructed in honor of victory in the Great Patriotic War. Solemn opening of the Victory Memorial in Moscow was held in May, 9, 1995. In February, 23, 1958 on Poklonnaya mountain a memorable granite sign was established with the inscription: «Here there will be a monument to the Victory of Soviet people in Great Patriotic War". Trees were planted around the place; park was layed named the Victory Park. In 70-80s 194 million rubles were collected. For the whole complex a site of 135 hectares was allocated. A great work on designing, discussion and choosing the best project of the main monument to freedom began. At that time, however, the question remained unsolved as none of the projects submitted was accepted. Everything remained without changes until the general management of the construction of the Memorial was undertaken by the mayor of Moscow J.M.Luzhkov. And the construction, threatened to be broken, was completed for three years.
Arch built in honour of the victrory in Napoleon Wars and Patriotic War of 1812.
Initially it was situated in Triumphalnaya Square, but during reconstruction of the Garden Ring in 1930-s it was disassembled (fortunately not ruined like many other buildings) and parts of it laid for 30 years in Donskoy Monastery. In Khruschev times (1960-s) it was reassembled in a new place.
This is a quite modern church of St. George in the Victory Park at Poklonnaya Gora.
Why Gt. George? - first, St. George is called in Russia - St. George the Triumphant, and the church is situated in the Victory Park, and it is the part of memorial of the WWII. Secondly, the main hero of the Great Patriotic War and the WWII considered to be in Russia is Georgy Zhukov. (One can see monument to Zhukov at Manezhnaya square near Kremlin).
The Triumphal Arch, Kutuzovsky Prospect. The Arch was erected in commemoration of General Kutozov's victory over Napoleon in 1812, when he won the battle near Borodino (I will add a travelogue about the village of Borodino soon!). Napoleon entered Moscow, but he did not subjugate it: Moscow was too proud to surrender. The Moscovites left their homes and set them on fire, leaving empty and unwelcoming city to the ambitious invadors. There is a great passage from Pushkin's poem "Eugeny Onegin" about Napoleon:
Napoleon here, intoxicated
with recent fortune, vainly waited
till Moscow, meekly on its knees,
gave up the ancient Kremlin-keys:
but no, my Moscow never stumbled
nor crawled in suppliant attire.
No feast, no welcome-gifts -- with fire
the impatient conqueror was humbled!
From here, deep-sunk in pensive woe,
he gazed out on the threatening glow.
(Translation by Ch.Johnston)
Bagration Bridge (Most)
If you wanna see one of the best panoramic views of Moskva river go there! It's a newly built bridge (just several years of existance), several storey, with shops and restaurants/cafes/clubs inside. New Moscow City is erected nearby on the one of the river banks, inside the bridge at the entrance there is a model of what's going to be within several years time, gonna be as in NY or London!
You can enter the bridge by two ways: 1) the best one is from Krasnopresnenskaya Embenkment (Naberezhnaya) where International Exhibition Center is; you'll hit the main entrance to the bridge; 2) another one is to do it from Kutuzovsky prospekt (avenue), the entrance is in that natable tall blue glass building you see in the pic.